The report provides an overview of patterns and flows of human trafficking at the global, regional and national levels. This is to support countries to respond more effectively to this crime.
However, it should be kept in mind that official data reported to UNODC by national authorities represent only what has been detected. It is clear that the reported numbers are only a tip of the iceberg. Below are the key findings:
- Many countries have laws stipulating penalties against traffickers despite the low convictions on the same. Between 2010 and 2012, some 40 per cent of countries reported less than 10 convictions per year.
- Nevertheless, the legislation does not cover all forms of trafficking and their victims, leaving far too many children, women and men vulnerable. Thus, implementation falls short.
- The most prevalent form of exploitation is sexual exploitation which counts for 50% in most continents. Forced labor as a form of exploitation is slowly increasing.
- In terms of gender, women above the age of 18 are more vulnerable because they make 49% of victims followed closely followed by girls below 18 years with 21%.
- Trafficking happens everywhere, but as this report shows most victims are trafficked close to home, within the region or even in their country of origin, and their exploiters are often fellow citizens.
- In some areas, trafficking for armed combat or petty crime, are significant problems.
- At least 510 trafficking flows have been detected.
- 72 per cent of convicted traffickers are men, and 28 per cent are women.
Trafficking of persons is a crime against humanity. It is perpetrated by fellow human beings and yet, in terms of consequences and prosecution, there is little that is done. It is clear that without robust criminal justice responses, human trafficking will continue to enrich the criminals at the detriment of the victims.
Responses in combating human trafficking need to be tailored to national and regional specifics if they are to be effective. But we need to advance from understanding to undertaking, from awareness to action. The gravity of this continuing exploitation compels us to step our response and increase the urgency of dealing with human trafficking.
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